Ambassador to Bangladesh: Who Is Dan Mozena?

Sunday, December 04, 2011
Dan Mozena

The new U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh is a career diplomat who grew up milking cows on the family farm, and whose career has taken him primarily to rural countries in South Asia and Southern Africa. Dan W. Mozena previously served at the embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs from 1998 to 2001. He was sworn in as Ambassador on November 17, 2011.


Born May 1, 1949, in Dubuque, Iowa, Mozena is the second of four sons and one daughter of Kenneth and Edna Mozena. Growing up on a family dairy farm in Iowa, Mozena spent his childhood milking cows, slopping hogs, and doing daily chores. He started his education in a one-room country school with only 12 students spread over eight grades. He earned a BS in History and Government at Iowa State University in 1970, spent the next year in Nepal on a National 4-H Council Cultural Exchange program, and then earned an MA in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1974.
From 1974 to 1976, Mozena and his wife, Grace, were Peace Corps Volunteers in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), helping farmers develop better ways to raise chickens. Back from the Peace Corps, Mozena worked as a Program Specialist from 1977 to 1981 for the National 4-H Council in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Mozena joined the State Department Foreign Service as a Political Officer in 1981. His first overseas assignments sent him to Africa, first to the Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia, to serve as a Consular Officer from 1982 to 1983, and then to serve as Economic and Political Officer at the Embassy in Kinshasa, Zaire, from 1983 to 1985. Mozena spent the next three years serving as a Public Diplomacy Officer at the State Department’s Office of Strategic Nuclear Policy from 1985 to 1988. He studied the Hindi language at the Foreign Service Institute from 1988 to 1989, and then served three years, 1989 to 1992, as Deputy Counselor for Political Affairs at the Embassy in New Delhi, India.
Shifting his focus back to Africa, Mozena served at State Department Headquarters as Officer-in-Charge of South African Affairs for 1992 to 1993, and as Deputy Director of the Office of Southern African Affairs from 1993 to 1995, during South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy. He also assisted with then-President Nelson Mandela’s historic state visit to Washington.
Mozena spent the next nine years overseas, returning to South Asia in 1995 to serve as Deputy Counselor for Political Affairs at the Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, until 1998, when he headed to the Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to serve as Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs through 2001. He went back to the scene of his first overseas assignment to serve as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia, from 2001 to 2004. Mozena was appointed Director of the Office of Southern African Affairs in 2004, and served three years in that capacity, until his first ambassadorial appointment in 2007, as Ambassador to Angola, a position he held from August 15, 2007, until July 2, 2010. For the 2010–2011 academic year, Mozena was Professor of National Security at the National War College in Washington, DC.
Mozena and his wife, Grace (Feeney), were married in 1971. She is a retired elementary school teacher with professional interests in elementary education and English as a second language. The Mozenas have two children: Anne (born 1979) and Mark (born 1983).
-Matt Bewig
Official Biography (by Damon Shulenberger, The Foghorn)


Leave a comment